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“I would like to be drug-free” – Mllheim

BZ-INTERVIEW with a young stoner whom the Mllheim drug advice center helped with a course.

. Smoking weed can be a problem. In a two-day group course at the Contact and Advice Center for Drug Problems (Kobra) in Mllheim, young people critically reconsider their drug consumption. Stefan Mertlik spoke to a 17-year-old course participant. He does not want to be named by name.

BZ: How did you get started with drugs?
Attendees: I smoked pot for the first time when I was 15. Once a month has become daily consumption. I guess I spent at least 70 euros a week on marijuana during my weddings. A house search was carried out last year because the police suspected I was selling the drugs too. That was a huge shock for my parents and me. I knew I had a problem even before the search. At that moment, however, I became aware of the seriousness of the situation. In order not to go to court empty-handed, the youth justice department showed me the possibility of a “FreD” course.

BZ: How did your group of friends influence your consumption?
Attendees: My circle of friends gave me the opportunity, but ultimately everyone has to decide for themselves whether to smoke. In bad times we had no other thoughts than consumption. I have nothing to do with many friends from back then because they are still deeply involved in consumption.

BZ: How did marijuana handle you?
Attendees: I started during the summer vacation. I could smoke there all day without any problems. Then my training started. I didn’t smoke weed before or during work – only afterwards. The teaching distracted me, which is still the case today.

BZ: How did the group course go?
Attendees: It was pleasant to talk to people of the same age who are struggling with the same problems. Within ten minutes the ice was broken and everyone opened up. We have collected solutions to problems caused by consumption and examined legal aspects. I’ve thought a lot about what I’ve learned and tried to apply it to my situation. I also talked a lot with my parents.

BZ: Was there a moment on the course that you remembered as being particularly helpful?
Attendees: We had to show the course of addiction from initial consumption to addiction on slips of paper. This enabled me to classify where I am at the moment. I was shocked that I was already so close to the addiction.

BZ: Where are you now
Attendees: Every offer helps, but you cannot stop consuming one hundred percent immediately. I still have bad moments, but things are going in a good direction. The intervals between consumption have increased significantly. When I smoke, I also feel guilty. I would like to be drug free.

What is “FreD”?

Fred stands for “early intervention for first-time drug users” and is a program for 14 to 21 year olds. “The group course should give young people their own suggestions on reducing consumption or getting out of it,” says Katharina Braun, head of the contact and advice center for drug problems (Kobra). In surveys six months after the “FreD” courses, 49 percent of the participants state that they have no longer used illegal drugs. The LWL coordination office for addiction in Mnster developed the program 20 years ago. It is now being used across Europe – since 2017 also in Freiburg and in the Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald district. The sponsoring association for Kobra eV and the Lions Club Mllheim-Neuenburg support the offer. In 2019, 31 young people made use of it.

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